Just got off the Fantasy's 11 night Southern Caribbean sailing last week. If anyone has any questions, I am happy to answer!
Here are a few big things I noticed:
1) Wifi, Free iMessage and Messaging in Navigator App
- This was a welcome addition and made communication much easier. I saw families using walkie talkies on the first day but never again after they must have figured out the iMessage thing. This free perk is NOT advertised or talked about very much, so make sure to take advantage of it. I guess the next question is-- When will DCL expand free iMessage to other ships? Hopefully it hits the magic in time for our trip next summer! However, DCL unfortunately still uses the awful megabyte based wifi program. We cruised a different line last year and it was cheaper for a full day of unlimited access than it was for the Small package on DCL.
2) AFT Vibration and Movement
- Our room was Midship-Aft (Deck 10) and we really felt the shaking, rattling, and rolling of the ship, as mentioned by others on this forum and DISboards. We felt major vibration almost every night (we went full speed, or close to full speed for the first 4 days, and then the last 3 days). We were also woken up at 6:00 every morning by rolling carts above us in Cabanas/pool deck. I know 2 sailings before ours there were issues with the 'shaft' and people were speculating the shaking issue may have gotten better since then. I heard there were issues on the 3 night cruise after ours-- When will DCL fix this issue once and for all? My family will now avoid all Fantasy sailings unless we are in the FWD section or Concierge because of this. Made sleeping very hard.
3) High Castaway Club concentration and unwelcoming atmosphere from other passengers
- A Crew member told me that of the roughly 4000 passengers, about 3,300 were returning castaway club members on this sailing. And of that, more than half were gold or platinum. This is obviously great for Disney, but it created somewhat of an unwelcoming and uninviting atmosphere for silver members and first time cruisers. Most of the good excursions were taken by the time our window opened up, and many of the 'experienced' cruisers we felt were snobs and didn't want anything to do with us lowly silvers. Luckily, we already have our gold sailing booked for next year
4) Great Itinerary and Great ship-- but we like the Magic/Wonder better.
- We loved most of the islands and loved the itinerary. However, I think there's a lot to be said about being on the SMALLER ships, especially for a long sailing. We sailed the 12 night Med a few years back on the Magic and loved every minute of it. The ship was too big to navigate for 11 days, and is great for shorter voyages, but that more intimate and smaller feel fits my family's needs in a better way for longer trips.
5) I think we've found our cruise line home
- I think this sailing (despite some of the negative comments above) confirmed our preference to Disney over other cruise lines. If we take more cruises in the future, they will 99% chance be on Disney. Our family does NOT go to the parks, we are not DVC members, and we are not crazy about the characters. We like Disney because they are clean, there is stuff to do for everyone, their rooms are nice, the service is excellent, and they clearly care about the guest. We have cruised on two other lines recently and while we liked those trips also, theres nothing like Disney.
Sorry if most of these points come across as negative, just some of the overarching things I noticed! Food was decent, but got much better as the voyage progressed. Kids had a ball at Edge and Vibe. We thought the cruise staff team was excellent. Great staff and service in all departments, as usual. We contacted guest services about the rolling and vibration in our room and they sent gifts to our room and checked up on us every day. Very nice considering it was something mostly out of their control.